Thursday, September 4, 2008

Different v Better

I've gotten into some discussions recently which made me start thinking "Is this person arguing that their position is different or better?" What really bothers me is people arguing that things are different, when they clearly believe and imply that their stance is better. Just come right out and say it.
Cake v Pie. I don't beat around the bush. Cake is better. My opinion then implies that pie is not just different from cake, but worse or inferior. Right? So I am dessertist. I'm not going to argue that they are different and equal, but I personally prefer cake. I think that argument is, well, dumb. Doesn't a preference for cake imply its superiority? At least in my mind?
Now I'm not going to get all bent out of shape if someone is dessertist and thinks pie is the end all be all of the world. I will tell them they are wrong, but I'm not going to get personally upset. Cake v Pie is a personal preference. Race is not. Sex is not. Sexual orientation is not. Nationality is not. Don't tell me that black people are just fine, but you don't want your child going to school with them. Clearly that reveals your racism.
Now then comes religion. A personal preference right? A very personal choice I think. I don't like to discuss religion (explanation is one thing, argument--let's not go there). I think a lot of times it comes down to that same argument...your religion is fine, but mine is better than yours.
I guess what I'm trying to say is that if you are going to argue, what are you really arguing? Different or Better? Really look at yourself and your argument. Better? Then just come out and say it.


Team Serrins Springfield said...

Hmm. I think that you can totally believe that something is personal choice without necessarily thinking that it's better. I think that there are a lot of preferences for which it never even crosses my mind that there could be a better.

Obviously pie is better than cake but I appreciate the existance of cake because it's more portable and it keeps people from eating all my pie at parties.

I despise mustard. And coconut. And peach. But I don't think that ketchup and pecans and apples are better. I just don't like the other things.

And I guess I feel the same way about the "important" issues as well. I don't really "get" heterosexuality sometimes. Like I look at men and women together and just kind of shake my head in confusion about how that could work. But hey, I figure to each his/her/their own. I don't think that being gay is better or that being straight is better. I just think I'd be really miserable straight and probably most people would be really miserable gay.

Are there things that I want to argue and want to argue that something is better? Heck yeah. At work I have to have discussions about different ways to do certain things when the fact is that my way actually is better. Some people don't breastfeed and eat meat and drive hummers and I think that my way is better. But listening to rap vs. country music versus throat singing? Not only is one not better but I don't even care.

You know?

k. said...

I know you're right. Sometimes I just take things too personally. I hate mustard too, but I don't think ketchup is better. I think I just get upset when I hear "I'm better than you because...." The problem is, that isn't what the person is saying--that is what I hear implied in their argument. If they just said "I'm better than you because blank" I'd probably just laugh at the absurdity of it. I'm horrible with confrontation, and I've always gotten denial when I've confronted someone on this topic. So, maybe I'm just crazy.

Anonymous said...

Very few people come right out and say "My way is better because..." They say no it's just different, but give visual and verbal cues that indicate "you're dumb, and i am not listening anymore." Hell I do that. Believe it or not, I am a little arrogant.